Crews have begun road work a little earlier than expected on Highway 70 that will affect traffic in Hancock and Hawkins County for months.

Mark Nagi with the Tennessee Department of Transportation said traffic control operations began Monday night on Highway 70 around Eidson around 10 p.m. The work was originally planned for the week of April 23, but had to be started early because of an unstable rockslope.

Highway 70 North in Eidson are now closed to traffic and will be off limits for approximately three weeks. The closures are between SR 94 and Clinch Valley Road.

In May 2017, a massive rock slide shut down that section of the highway and took two weeks to clear and repair. The work is making way for blasting and excavation operations in the coming months and likely will last until June 30th, according to Nagi.

Traffic control began with temporary lane closures in March which were put in place on that section of Highway 70.

Related: Latest traffic conditions

Due to large rocks falling from the hillside, the entire road will be closed.

Suggested detour routes:

From SR 70 in Rogersville: Take SR 1 (US 11W) South to SR 31 North in Mooresburg, to SR 33 North to SR 70 North.

From SR 70 in Kyles Ford: Take SR 33 South to SR 31 South in Sneedville, to SR 1 (US 11W) in North Mooresburg, to SR 70 North in Rogersville.